document_20_4_221The Air Force has some 20,000 legacy aircraft engines, many of which were designed over 50 years ago. As a result, many of the original part suppliers as well as the technical data have disappeared. Thus, acquiring the necessary spare parts to keep these systems operational can be very challenging. The Air Force has rapidly embraced reverse engineering and additive manufacturing as an innovative way to control the cost and lead time to acquire the small quantities of replacement parts.

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Realities of Reverse Engineering in the Aerospace & Defense Industry